Monday, April 06, 2009

Holidays are Here Again

I thought you would enjoy another wonder of Spain. Saint’s Days. Everyone in Spain has a saint’s day which is more important than your birthday. It can be annoying. For example everyone that works at the electric co. is called Antonio, which I know because it is June 13, Jessica’s birthday, so none of her friends could ever come to the party and no one was left to watch the electric company's dials and collection of bits of wire. Then every village, town and city has at least one saint’s day, whose fiesta lasts from three to ten days depending on the size of the pueblo. This means 24 hours of music and dancing and much more. If a town has a specialty like running the bulls then everyone takes the holiday.
After each day-off work or public holiday you have the 'Dia de la Resaca', which is hangover day and it is acceptable to stay in bed. When there is a national holiday you get what is called a puente or a three or four day weekend. If the holiday falls on a weekend, then that isn’t fair to the citizens so we give it an extra day. Next month, May, has three puentes so it is basically a couple of days a week of work during May. We have 'regional holidays' as well – the Día de Andalucía is on Feb 28th. Then you have Semana Blanca - a week off in February - which everyone has to go skiing.
The schools sometimes go out ‘on strike’ as well… I am sure there are more but my eyes hurt.
Oddly, birthdays don't count for much, but of course you have your Saint's Day instead (unless you have one of those 'strange' Anglo names...).
Then, Spain's lucky workers get double pay at Christmas and July.
Then there's the glorious siesta from two to five. No fast food here.

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